Paul Reed Smith on June 29 joined the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) to celebrate the opening of the “Wire & Wood: Designing Iconic Guitars” exhibition, the museum’s latest installment. PRS helped to kick off the celebration with a special lecture on guitar design and a performance with noted designer and artist Ken Carbone.

The new exhibition, which profiles Smith and PRS Guitars’ unique guitar designs, explores the basics of design and construction, while also examining ways that musicians have used the instrument to shape their public images. The exhibition features a dozen iconic guitars and shares the stories of why they have become so well recognized.

Curated and designed by W. Todd Vaught, who brings more than 20 years of experience in multi-disciplinary design, management and storytelling, Wire & Wood couples foundational design with engaging musician commentary to pose the question: Does form follow function, or is image king? The exhibition presents the guitar in its most minimal form, asking viewers to consider how simple and traditional design elements, such as instrument shape and species of wood, affect sound. The exhibition surveys advancements in luthiery, including mass manufacturing and alternative materials, and shares the stories behind how some of the 20th century’s most famous guitars reached their status.

On display through Sept. 29, Wire & Wood also studies the relationship between instrument and player, showcasing an impressive lineup of legendary guitars played by famed musicians and performers, including PRS Artist, Orianthi. On display is her Blood Splatter Custom 24, which she has used on world tour with Alice Cooper.

Wire & Wood is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs and ​Wire & Wood Alpharetta Songwriters Festival.

No more articles